Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NSCAA Club Standards Project – Elevating the standard of coach and player development, one organization at a time!

NSCAA has launched an evaluative process focusing on youth soccer organizations that is designed to raise the standards and expectations for coach and player development. Since the late 1990’s, soccer has seen exponential growth in the number of registered players and the communities that it is reaching.  Conservative estimates suggest there are now well over 10,000 organizations in the United States operating youth soccer programs, including those affiliated with national organizations and through town recreation, YMCA and community centers.
The phenomenal growth in soccer participation is not presently being supported by a more sophisticated approach to player and coach development.  Youth organizations will be evaluated on their current performance in Coaching Development, Player Development and Administration. There will be 3 levels of evaluation:
1)  Preliminary – free online self-assessment survey
2)  Intermediate – data collection and detailed report written by an NSCAA Consultant
3)  Advanced – data collection, site visit and detailed report written by an NSCAA Consultant
Participation in the preliminary assessment is free and all organizations will receive benefits provided by the project sponsors and partners.  Organizations will receive a ‘participant logo’ to proudly display on their website and will also be recognized on
“The Project is consistent with the NSCAA goals to be the primary source of information for coaching and player development and to offer benefits and services to our members that we believe are the most important,” stated NSCAA CEO, Joe Cummings.
The Club Standards Project is built on the foundations of the Youth Soccer Assessment Tool (Y-SAT) created by David Newbery and former USA Women’s National Team Coach, NSCAA Academy Staff Coach/Goalkeeping Academy Director and Hall of Fame Coach, Tony DiCicco. 
 “We believe assessing organizations and providing them with critical feedback to help them improve while developing a ‘National Standard’ for all organizations to compare themselves against will be a key to the health and longevity of soccer in the next 10 years,” said David Newbery, NSCAA Club Standards Coordinator. “The Project will provide youth organizations the opportunity to draw on expertise and good practice from around the country.”
“Simply, we have to expect more … we need to get serious about player development,” said Tony DiCicco.
To learn more, visit
Contact: Carlos Acebey, NSCAA Club Standards Representative,, voice or text: 515-978-1504

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jobs available - Seeking Sports Apparel Reps in the Midwest

An additional revenue opportunity for those with an interest in sports. For motivated individuals with little start-up costs (under $200) and tremendous company support.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Online Camp

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Is the game really about the fans?

As I watched football games over the weekend, the potential NFL lockout looms large and I begin to wonder who the real losers would be in the event the owners stiff arm the players next March.

(1) The stadium employees: Are we even considering the impact a lost season could have on the stadium workers that depend on the income derived from these games? Thousands of people employed on Sundays for about 20-22 weeks of the year will feel the pinch of a lockout.

(2) The players: The median (not average) player's salary is $1.1 million and the average length of an NFL career is 3.5 years. For a lot of players, a year's salary forgone is a 25% reduction in lifetime earnings from the NFL. The loss of income is not so problematic if we are talking about individuals with the off the field credentials that would pave the way for a successful post NFL career.

(3) The owners: Do we really feel bad for them having extended the current collective bargaining agreement back in 2006? No, of course not. They are set up to endure a lockout and have the deep pockets through other successful pre-NFL endeavors. Greed is at issue here, although we should give pause to understanding the financial risks involved as the dollars at stake are more than we can fathom.

(4) The fans: No question we would suffer greatly as not only would we be deprived of watching the games in person or from the convenience of our homes via HD television & computers or our smart phones or our local sports bar, but also from making the work week more endurable. Fantasy Football ... gone; ESPN ... what's the point; talking smack to our friends and co-workers ... forget about it.

In what is ultimately a battle of millionaires, the business of the NFL is subsidized heavily (essentially unilaterally) by the common fan. Without our eyeballs, emotions, and disposable income the league would not command the dollars derived from the media conglomerates and corporate sponsors; would not generate the revenue negotiated through licensing; and would not profit from gate receipts and concessions. If we don't consume the game osmotically, then owners and players have no business platform.

As the 2010 NFL season matures and while I watch the Tweeting Triumvirate's first NBA game in late October, I will think more about the game being about the fan and not the players and owners who benefit most from holding our attention. However, trying to mobilize millions of people in conducting our own lockout will never happen in my lifetime. Just imagine how difficult it will be for the thousands of players affected by this labor dispute to remain unified. In the end the owners (i.e., the money, the power, the fame) will win.

Please feel free to comment or connect with me. Thanks.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sports Leadership with Seth Abraham

March 31, 2009 St. Louis, MO

I recently attended a Sports Management class for MBA and undergraduate students in St. Louis on the beautiful campus of Washington University. The class featured adjunct professor, Seth Abraham, former president of HBO Sports and CEO of Madison Square Garden.

Aside from Mr. Abraham being a fabulous orator, he strategically weaved great sports analogies with a sports leadership message. The value in his message helped me in gaining a better understanding of my role as a leader and mentor in the sports business world.


Think for a moment ... who comes to mind if you were to name the most influential people in the world? The class (composed of 18-30 years olds with a predisposition for sports) came up with Pope Benedict XVI, Barack Obama, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, David Beckham; interestingly 3 of the 5 are sports personalities. Your list likely consists of at least one sports icon which speaks volumes of our culture and the role of sports today.

How is the global commerce of sports different from the business world? The difference is that results are measured immediately by way of won-loss record and attendance. Mr. Abraham understates the following by saying, "What was once a pastime has now transformed into a global economy."

My notes from that particular 3 hour class session follow:

Skills in leadership:

(1) Communicate plainly and simply. State your expectations in plain and simple terms.

(2) Be prepared ... from Mr. Abraham's interview with former NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien, predecessor to David Stern. If you want to work for a sports organization research the company and most importantly, know as much about your "future" boss as possible.

(3) Unconventionality & Visioning ... see things that others do not and design a plan that brings the future into the present. A prime example is Branch Rickey who is best known for breaking baseball's color barrier.

(4) Good luck is the residue of good design ... luck can be orchestrated. Remember the Black Sox Scandal? Arnold Rothstein, a huge gambler with deep pockets, made his own luck by bribing players of the team to lose the 1919 World Series. Not a story we want to relay to our kids from the perspective of highlighting an illegal activity, but one that accentuates the point.

(5) Organization ... the better the employee, the less you have to manage. How do you know if you are hiring an ideal person ~ find out what that person does when they are not working to determine what kind of balance they have in their life. Additionally, a leader needs to develop a sense of mission and build solid relationships.

(6) Self-confidence (which can be confused with vision) ... have vigor, show grit, be determined, and follow instincts (critical to good leadership).

(7) Be clever ... hard to measure and define and different from smart or intelligent. Clever has more to do with how one solves problems by using research and experience. Mr. Abraham hints that it is better to be clever than smart especially if you surround yourself with talented people.

In summary, leaders come from all walks of life and there exists no single conventional way of being a leader. You can make decisions and learn certain leadership qualities with the right attitude. Look to inspire and motivate those willing and able to assume greater responsibilities in your sports organizations!

Please, feel free to contact me if you would like to gain a better perspective of this experience!